Thursday, October 7, 2010

Is Your Faith Contagious?

How contagious is your faith?
Throughout the month of September, Uturn JH discussed the importance of intentional evangelism within our social groups, communities, and the world. Our faith in Jesus is not something for us to hold for ourselves, instead it is something to be shared with others. Jesus didn't come to earth and die for the sins of just YOU. He came to defeat the power of sin for the whole world.
1 John 2:2
He is the sacrifice for our sins. He takes away not only our sins but the sins of the world.
It is amazing that we have the privilege of experiencing the grace and forgiveness of God, but now as Christ followers we have the responsibility of sharing that message of grace with the world. Over the course of the series we examined various strategies and tools that would help us be more effective in our evangelistic efforts.
Week ONE
We discussed the importance of having a solid understanding of your theology because its essential that we know what we believe and why we believe it in order to better answer the questions of others. If we don't know what we believe and why we believe it then its really easy to slip into religious routines and habits. Jesus isn't about us going through the holy motions, He wants us to understand what we do and why we do it. Why do we study the Bible? Why do we water baptize people? What is Spirit baptism and the gifts of the Holy Spirit? Why should we honor our parents? What value is there being a part of a local church? I'm sure you've got questions of your own, now what are you doing to find biblical answers?
Week TWO
We also talked about how we need to show our faith through our actions. Whether its through our faithful obedience or acts of service, we have to put our faith into motion. People need to see the transformation that Christ has done in our lives. Obedience is going to speak volumes to those around you because they'll see that they're is something different about your habits, your vocabulary, your attitude, etc. Your obedience to God is going to be contrary to the habits and values of our culture, thus creating opportunities to share why you follow Christ. Through acts of service we can put into practice the same attitude that Jesus modeled.
Matthew 20:28
For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served, but to serve others...
If the Son of God didn't come to be pampered, then we need to get off our comfortable butts and start caring about others more than ourselves. What will you do to identify the needs of others and use what God has given you to meet those needs?
During this week we emphasized the value of being able to share the stories of what God has done in your own life. The CHRISTIANESE word is "testimony", but really its about boldly sharing the practical examples of what the living God has done in your life. If you live with integrity then real stories are great for evangelism because they can't be debated and refuted like theology or Bible verses. People can't argue with a real experience that you had with God. Your stories also have the impact of showing people that God is alive and working today, He's not something only for the ancient times. These stories could be about your salvation through Christ, but they can also be about God's healing, provision, restoring a broken relationship, an answer to prayer, etc. What has God done in your life and how will you share it with others?
The concluding week of the series finished out with an encouragement to spend time with unchurched people. Its so easy to find ourselves in HOLY HUDDLES or CHRISTIAN CLIQUES that we forget that we need to share the gospel with people not currently in our Christian circles. Its difficult to evangelize when all of your friends are Christ followers. We need to follow the example of Christ and be a friend of sinners, without indulging in sin. Jesus was constantly accused by the religious leaders for being a friend of sinners because he hung out with outcasts, rejects, prostitutes, liars, and others with scary reputations. Jesus knew that the only way the Kingdom of God would expand is if we go and spend time with the unchurched. But at the same time he exemplifies that we don't have to participate in sin to be around sinners. We have to get out of our Christian bubble and hang out with non Christians, showing them grace, mercy, forgiveness, and unconditional love. If you missed any of our sermons, you can download them for FREE on iTunes. Just search for "UTURN BOTHELL" to find our podcast page. Our prayer is that the love of God would become so contagious within our communities that we would experience an EPIDEMIC of LOVE. We're praying that people are seeing and hearing Jesus in their friends and peers and being drawn to Jesus rather than repelled.
How will your faith be contagious this school year?

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